A group of experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) has been working since mid-January in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the first outbreak of COVID-19 occurred in December 2019. Their goal is to try to investigate the origin of the virus.
New York City zoologist Peter Daszak, a zoologist from New York and a member of the group, said they had found "important clues" regarding the role of the Huanan seafood market in spreading the infection. This was reported by Bloomberg.
The experts visited the Wuhan Institute of Virology, the Huanan Seafood Market and one of the city's largest markets — Baishazhou, where fresh meat, fish and seafood are sold. They visited two hospitals in Wuhan that were among the first to begin treating patients. They were assisted by Chinese scientists who have been conducting their own investigation over the past several months.
The scientist said that during the investigation of the Huanan market, experts found "important clues." Despite the fact that the food market was closed immediately after detecting cases of infection, "it is still pretty intact," Daszak said.
"People left in a hurry, they left the equipment, they left the utensils, and that's what we were looking at," he explained.
Chinese scientists, who had previously taken samples from the market, have identified where traces of SARS-CoV-2 have been found. "We know now what we didn’t know then—that for every sick case, there were others who were asymptomatic or difficult to distinguish from those who simply had a cold or cough. So when did it start? This is what we are still working on," said Daszak.
According to him, viruses are transmitted through convoluted rivers of emergence", it is difficult to trace them, and it will take "a really long time." "But there are some real clues about what happened, and I hope that we’ll be able to make a solid explanation of that by the end of this trip," said the expert.
Additionally. Ukraine received confirmation of 12 million doses of vaccines supply from AstraZeneca and Novavax under an agreement with the Indian manufacturer Serum Institute. The supplies will start at the end of February, said the Minister of Health Maksym Stepanov.